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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:05 AM   #1
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Dropouts on A1U

I've been shooting for years now on MiniDV and I've only had a handful of dropouts during that time period. Yesterday, shooting HDV footage with my A1U at the Darfur Rally in DC, I had no less than 8 distinct drop outs. This was the first time I've had a drop out on approx 6 hours of shooting with the camera. :-(


It was my first pass through the tape (hadn't even been blacked), but it was one of the cheaper tapes, not one of the sony "HDV" tapes. I guess I'm going to bite the bullet and pay the (exorbitant, highway robbery-esque, have-to-take-a-shower-after-purchasing-because-I-feel-used) price of $13 per tape.

Oh, well, it's definitely cheaper than drop-outs at inopportune moments.

What have all of your impressions been with dropouts? Have they been much of an issue with the A1U?
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:53 AM   #2
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See B & H

Dave,

B & H will sell you HDV for $10.50 a pop. Definitely worth the price.

JH
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:58 AM   #3
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If you had 8 dropouts it sounds like you had some debris stuck on the head.
Were these 'recording' dropouts or 'playback' dropouts? I assume they were recording ones. i.e. they dropout always re-occurs at the same point in the tape upon playback?

Out of interest what was the cheap tape you used that caused this, and what was the previous 5 tapes that you used that were fine?

Dropouts on DV do happen, but because each frame is separetly encoded, often you won't actually notice the dropout as if it's one frame, it's a very short amount of time. For HDV, due to the way the data is encoded in 15-frame groups (for NTSC. - 12 frame groups for PAL), a dropout can often last half a second and are therefore much more noticeable.

Try using a standard Sony tape-head cleaner, and sticking to one brand of tapes. Sony premiums are quite inexpensive but most people report very few problems with them. Try those.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:12 AM   #4
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To answer questions:

1. yes, they were "recording dropouts."
2. I hope that it wasn't debris. I've been shooting in very "clean" conditions. Its worth getting a head cleaner to test that principle, though.
3. no, all the tapes that I've used so far have been the same.

Next Steps:
1. Buy HDV tapes & headcleaner!
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Old May 1st, 2006, 11:27 AM   #5
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I'd only use a Sony cleaning tape.
I think the code is DVM-12CLD.

let us know if it fixes it.

cheers
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 12:49 PM   #6
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I tried using JVC's Pro HDV tapes and, unfortunately, had numerous dropouts on two separate tapes. Cumulatively, it far exceeded the eight that you mentioned. I buy the Sony tapes exclusively now and I don't have any problems - even when reusing them a few times.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:29 AM   #7
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Which sony Tape?

Clay - I assume you are referring to the Sony "HDV" tape? and not soome other Sony tape.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 01:55 PM   #8
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Maybe those pro ones--the SONY PHDVM63DM DIGITAL MASTER 63/MINIDV 40/DVCAM (http://www.taperesources-store.com/s...M%2DS&dept=22).

heath
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